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Malaysian Armed Forces to take part in dengue vaccine research
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Defence through the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) together with Pharmaniaga and Bavarian Nordic will carry out dengue vaccine research and development in order to curb the dengue threat in the country.

Chief of Armed Forces Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said this collaboration is an important milestone for the MAF because it is the first time ever they are collaborating with various agencies with a reputable partner from overseas.

“Apart from Pharmaniaga and Bavarian Nordic, this collaboration that is represented by Malaysian Armed Forces Health Services will also see the involvement of the Ministry of Health, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).

“By doing this, we hope to be the first country to be able to produce this vaccine and hope it can be expanded further,” he said in a press conference after witnessing the signing of the contract, here yesterday.

Zulkifeli said this research and development will be fully funded by Pharmaniaga.

However, Zulkifeli refused to disclose the amount of money that is funded by Pharmaniaga but it is believed it involves quite a substantial amount.

This research that started since the middle of 2014 will take at least eight years to gauge the effectiveness of the vaccine created, he said.

“This research entails two stages namely the pre-clinical stage and clinical stage whereby the pre-clinical will involve two to three years of research while the clinical stage will involve three to five years,” he said.

In a related development, MAF Director-General of Health Services Datuk Abdul Razak Md Yusof said this vaccine is totally different from the vaccine that is taken from France by the Ministry of Health.

“We do not know the efficacy of the vaccine from France…maybe it is on a trial basis.

“We are focusing more on the local straint that is developed here and I believe this vaccine will be effective to the local people,” he said, adding that they have received the blessing from the Health Ministry to conduct this research and development.

As of May 30 2015, a total of 47,112 cases of dengue fever were reported which is an increase of 34 percent from 2014 while the death rate as on March 18 2015 is 95 cases which accounts for the highest rate of fatalities among viral infectious diseases in Malaysia. — Bernama

 



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